Cheers, empathy and 'Bohemian Rhapsody': Livestream viewers react to Katherine Magbanua verdict

·2 min read

Reaction to the conviction of Katherine Magbanua on Friday evening was swift but conflicted between justice and empathy — with even lyrics from a rock band's operatic ballad.

As soon as the jury's decision was made public, and seen live via GAVEL-TO-GAVEL COVERAGE on the Tallahassee Democrat's livestream on Tallahassee.com and on the Democrat's Facebook page, the emotions poured forth.

Some applauded the guilty verdict as a measure of justice for the family of murdered FSU law professor Dan Markel. Others empathized with Magbanua, a mom who now faces a lengthy prison sentence. Others weighed in critically on her defense team's tactics.

Back story:

Here is a sampling of what viewers posted:

Adam V cheered the verdict calling it "Justice for Dan" and added: "Great verdict great live chat on this channel for last several days. Charlie's Next."

The latter was a reference to Charlie Adelson, the slain professor's brother-in-law and longtime suspect in the 2014 killing. Adelson was arrested last month on first-degree murder and related charges in connection with Markel's murder.

A post by dannyjthomas added: "Hmm. Either you are paid to be here by the Adelson’s or you are from another planet."

But an account named "hit the headlines" lamented the jury's decision saying, "It's so painful. My heart is aching so badly for her, seeing her tears. Law enforcement framed her for the murder and they just can't see it."

And another, Rue Garland, wrote that, "Empathy is seeing the world through someone else's eyes. Sometimes that's difficult to accept but it's a grueling inevitability. My thoughts are with Dan Markel and his sons and family for the life they never had."

Magbanua's defense team came under fire, with one posting their strategy was "shameful." Commenter Festi 2003 said the attorneys made the "mistake of a 1st year law student getting emotionally involved in Katie's case," adding that "Against a mountain of circumstantial evidence she advises her client to take the stand, which made absolutely no sense, and incredibly, doesn't prepare her at all."

AnyTwoWillDo summed it up by citing rock band Queen's Bohemian Rhapsody and this segment of the lyrics: "Mamaaa, Just killed a man, Put a gun against his head, pulled my trigger, Now he's dead Mamaaa, life had just begun, But now I've gone and thrown it all away ..."

But Mistamoneybagz succinctly put it this way: "Does your heart ache for Dan Markel and his family?"

This article originally appeared on Tallahassee Democrat: Dan Markel trial: Reaction to Katherine Magbanua guilty verdict varies